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zieds1mazs.gif (257 bytes) Two Calendars

For religious reasons the Russia Empire did not introduce the Gregorian calendar like the European countries in the 16th century. So in all state documents only the Julian calendar was used, but the people of the Baltics provinces began to mention dates in both calendars in private correspondence since the end of the 19th century and it became nearly obligatory in the first decades of the 20th century. The books of calendars also contained dates in both systems.

The date of the other calendar is not difficult to calculate, if one of them is known. To obtain the Gregorian date for the Julian dates of the 19th century, one should add 12 to the Julian date, so July 5 in the Julian calendar corresponds to July 17 of the Gregorian calendar. Of course, at the end of a month the calculations become more complicated. For the dates of the 20th century the rule is the same, but in this case one should add 13 to the date. This rule began to work on March 1, 1900, because the year of 1900 was a leap year according to the Julian calendar and a normal year according to the Gregorian calendar.

Here is a small fragment of both calendars for February 1900.


Julian calendar Gregorian calendar
February 16, 1900 February 28, 1900
February 17, 1900 March 1, 1900
February 18, 1900 March 2, 1900
February 19, 1900 March 3, 1900
February 20, 1900 March 4, 1900
February 21, 1900 March 5, 1900
February 22, 1900 March 6, 1900
February 23, 1900 March 7, 1900
February 24, 1900 March 8, 1900
February 25, 1900 March 9, 1900
February 26, 1900 March 10, 1900
February 27, 1900 March 11, 1900
February 28, 1900 March 12, 1900
February 29, 1900 March 13, 1900
March 1, 1900 March 14, 1900


The changeover from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar was carried out in the region of Latvia in several steps. In Kurzeme [Kurland] the new calendar was introduced in the time of the WW1, a month after the German occupation began and namely on May 21, 1915. In Riga the calendar system was changed on September 5, 1917. Unfortunately my source of this information did not say if the just mentioned dates were in the Julian or the Gregorian calendar, and so I do not know exactly which days were dropped at the transition. In the other parts of Latvia the new calendar was introduced gradually in 1918 as soon as the regions were liberated.


© Bruno Martuzāns. 1995-2002